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Gordon Mills


Foxton Beach, Horowhenua, NZ

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Gordon Mills

Amassed, the little ships tillered by blessed men,
Set sail from this, their jewelled isle for yonder shores of hell.
From whence they came no one knew, but come they did, to call,
Upon the souls of a dying race, their backs against the wall.

"Dunkirk"! was the cry from the lips of men as the little ships set sail,
Into the troughs of hostile seas, into history's tale.
These hearts of oak, these faceless men who flung down the glove and dared,
Ploughed onwards to the beaches of a land they never shared.
Their faces all proud and bright, no packdrill no name,
Answered the prayers of many a lad who stood in warriors shame.

The foreign land their eyes beheld brought pain to hearts so strong,
To see their kinsmen, soldiers all, singing their dying song.
The sea ran red from the blood of British dead,
Their cries assailed the ears.
These once proud men of might and phlegm,
Now cowered by all their fears.

Into this plunderous hell they sailed,
To answer Englands shames.
To pluck these lads from the jaws of hell,
As they stood in countless lanes.
These little ships these faceless men braved bullet, bomb, and shell,
To pluck their lads from the hated Hun,
As their warriors fought, and fell.

The men who saw these little ships ploughing onwards to the beach,
Cried the tears of the damned, saved from Satans reach.
Not all the lads were saved that day, not all the ships came home,
But those who reached the leeward isle,
Were blessed, and free once more to roam.

The kiss of death betrayed the cause,
Of men who fought the beast.
The long, the short, and the tallest,
The privates, not the least.

Those little ships, those faceless men,
Ensigns to the mast.
Gave their all for God and King,
For some it was their last.
Blessed be the cobbler, the butcher, baker, clerk,
For these were the faceless men who sailed, into the hell of old Dunkirk.